What drew you to medical research, and how did you end up at Boston Children’s Hospital?
I was drawn to medical research from the positive experiences I had assisting patients at St. Luke’s Hospital in Utica and working in research laboratories, I really enjoyed aspects of both basic science research and patient-contact; medical research is a great combination of both.
After talking to Hamilton alumni involved in clinical research, I was inspired by their amazing experiences in Boston. Boston Children’s Hospital has a diverse range of research opportunities, and the Hamilton network allowed me to get a better understanding of the different job possibilities and figure out what would be the best fit for me. Specifically, Gabe Linden ’20 told me about working as a clinical research assistant in the orthopedic surgery department at BCH and what the role entailed.
In clinical research, I’ll interact with and assist patients, as well as work on the technical aspects of a research project. I’m excited to have found a career that allows me to do both.
What Hamilton experiences helped to prepare you for this endeavor?
The open curriculum allowed me to really explore a diversity of classes in departments such as the sciences, humanities, and arts, which broadened my perspective. Classes in the Sociology and Literature departments gave me a better understanding of different walks of life that will help me interact with diverse patients and their families. Similarly, my science and laboratory-based classes have taught me about the research process and helped develop skills like organization and scientific problem-solving that will be necessary in the research projects I’m a part of. Overall, the liberal arts curriculum provided me a much bigger picture of the world we live in and how my actions as an individual, and as a researcher, have a large and important impact.
What are your long-term career plans or goals?
My long-term goal is to go to medical school, become a doctor, and maybe even teach medical students one day. I think my time at Boston Children’s will give me a much better perspective of medical research as well as more experience with direct patient contact. I see myself as a much more knowledgeable, confident, and experienced candidate when applying to medical school after my time at BCH.
“Overall, the liberal arts curriculum provided me a much bigger picture of the world we live in and how my actions as an individual, and as a researcher, have a large and important impact.”
What aspects of your new position are you looking forward to most?
I’m really looking forward to interacting with adolescent scoliosis patients. I have scoliosis myself and was monitored by doctors while I was growing, which is very similar to the patients I’ll be working with. I look forward to being on the other side of these appointments and using my past experiences to help patients feel comfortable and understood. I aspire to be a welcoming and encouraging presence for them and their families and to use my own experience to better understand their needs. I’m excited to be a part of such an amazing team at BCH and work alongside so many incredible surgeons and researchers with a common goal of improving spine care for children.
Alexa Bosco ’22
Hometown: Pittsford, N.Y.
High School: Pittsford Sutherland High School
Campus Clubs and Activities: Dance Team, Writing Center Tutor, Biochemistry and Microbiology TA
What advice would you give to students interested in pursuing medical research?
There are so many unique and different forms of medical research. Talk with alumni and look into distinct types of research to find the best fit for your strengths and goals. Medical research takes place at laboratory benches, by talking with patients, and nearly everywhere in-between. Knowing where you will be the best fit within this space, and what would be the most rewarding for you, will help you narrow down the options and find something you’re truly passionate about.